Tillerson Urges Coalition Unity in Fight against ISIL
The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group is far from over, the US secretary of state has said, urging unity among Arab countries in the Gulf for the sake of regional stability.
Rex Tillerson said the rift between Qatar and its former allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt – is counter-productive to efforts to root out the group.
The countries imposed a blockade on Qatar last June.
“The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Tillerson said during a meeting on Tuesday in Kuwait City.
Al Jazeera quoted Tillerson saying US priorities are to prevent ISIS from establishing a so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, recruiting new members and being able to train for future attacks.
“Without continued attention and support from coalition members, we risk the return of extremist groups like ISIS in liberated areas of Iraq and Syria and their spread to new locations,” he said.
The US also pledged 200 million USD to support stabilisation efforts in Syria, Tillerson announced.
Tillerson’s comments came during a three-day donor conference in Kuwait to support reconstruction and stabilisation efforts in Iraq.